We have the intelligence of a city in the open air. Look closely and you’ll feel it. International artists keep studios on back roads, and one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world lives in a maze of an old mill. Contemporary art meets the past here, in fields from digital imaging to outdoor sculpture in the meadow grass.

We have museums with global followings. Sol LeWitt’s vivid color brightens the brick walls at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Impressionists gather at the Clark Art Institute, and visitors sit the reflecting pool. Illustrators surround Norman Rockwell’s studio.

Artists create new work, and conservitors restore work centuries old. A painter and printmaker from Botswana shows wall-sized canvases in a college museum, basking deep in afternoon sunlight.

Art Museums in the Berkshires

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Field Farm

Nature and Modern art mingle at Field Farm in Williamstown. The Trustees of Reservations maintains the outoor sculpture garden and trails— open to the public from sunrise to sunset all year — and runs the house as a Bed and Breakfast, and they will open the Folly for art tours occasionally through the summer and fall.

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Hilltown6 ceramics

Nine local potters in the hills and back roads on the eastern rim of the Berkshires have gathered together into a team earning national recognition — on the last weekend in July, they open their studios and kilns to the public for the annual Hilltown6 Pottery Tour.

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MCLA

National and international figures come to visit the students at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, ranked in the top 10 public colleges in U.S. News and World Report and appears in U.S. News’ list of Top National Liberal Arts colleges.

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The Mount

Edith Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, wrote many of her best-known novels in this house, in the 10 years she lived in Lenox — from The House of Mirth to Ethan Frome. Her house is now a museum, a center of writing, music and performance, landscape and gardens, dedicated to keeping her spirit alive.

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